Category Archives: Freebies

NaNoWriMo Starts November 1st

Neutral_180_180_whiteNational Novel Writing Month starts November 1st. It’s a:

…writing event where the challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days. For one month, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

That means participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight, November 30. The word-count goal for our adult program is 50,000 words, but the Young Writers Program (YWP) allows 17-and-under participants to set reasonable, yet challenging, individual word-count goals.

In 2010, 200,000 adults participated through our main site, and 41,000 young writers participated through the YWP.

The site offers lots of free resources for young writers and educators, such as workbooks, lesson plans, links, and more.

Labels: Composition, Freebies
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Museum Day is September 24th

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Saturday, September 24th, is Museum Day, which is an annual event, hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. During Museum Day, you can gain free admission for you and one guest to one of the many participating museums across the country. Go to the official Museum Day site to learn more and get your free tickets.

Labels: Field Trips, Freebies
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Free Entrance to National Parks on September 24th

In celebration of National Public Lands Day and Worldwide Day of Play admission will be free to all 395 National Parks. To further enrich your experience, there is even  curriculum for some of the parks. Did you know that many of our national historic sites and natural wonders are National Parks also? For instance, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Antietam National Battlefield, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Cape Cod National Seashore, Death Valley National Park, and Aztec Ruins National Monument are all National Parks and would make wonderful field trip destinations for some interesting history or science lessons. I find that one of the joys of homeschooling is having the flexibility to incorporate more field trips into my kids education.

Labels: Field Trips, Freebies
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Today is Free Slurpee Day!

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Labels: Freebies
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

USPS Offers Free Lesson Plans and Resources

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The United States Post Office has a site, called Community Connections, which “was created by the Postal Service to help schools across the country in their quest for school improvement and student achievement.” The site offers education kits, resources, lesson plans, teacher’s guides, and more.

Labels: Freebies
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Get Funnix Beginning Math for Free June 1-26

imageFrom the Funnix Site:

Funnix Beginning Math is a 100-lesson computer program designed for children who have not learned beginning math operations.

Funnix Beginning Math will be available as a free download from June 1 through June 26. All components of Funnix Beginning Math are included in the download—100 animated computer-based lessons, workbook material, a teaching guide, and a placement test for assessing the child.

The program is unique in the sophistication of skills it teaches in only 100 lessons. Children learn different types of counting. They use counting by tens and counting by ones to solve addition problems that traditionally require carrying. For example: 45+35.

Be assured that this program is FREE. No hidden charges, gimmicks, or costs for handling and shipping. This giveaway is like the one conducted in January for Funnix Beginning Reading and resulted in over 41,000 free downloads.

Funnix Beginning Math is very user friendly. Like Funnix Reading, the math program is computer-based. Narrators direct the activities in each 35-minute lesson. A child or small group of children watch the computer screen with a parent or teacher. The children answer questions the narrator presents. The parent or teacher reinforces correct responses and directs the program to repeat parts that were difficult for the children.

Signing up for the free download is simple. All you do is fill out a form and submit it. You will then receive an email with all instructions on how to receive the program.

Labels: Freebies
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Cheap and Free Summer Fun for Families

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Summer vacation is quickly coming up for us and I always like to take advantage of the numerous free or cheap fun activities that are available each summer. Here is a list of some summer fun activities that we like to do. How about you? What are some of your favorite things to do during the summer?

  • Beaches and Parks – in addition to being a great place for active outdoor fun, many beaches and parks host special activities during the summer, such as guided tours, classes, concerts, movies, festivals, plays, etc. As an added bonus, many parks have started adding water play areas to their repertoire of play equipment.
  • Berry Picking – check this site for a list of local u-pick places
  • Bowling
    • AMF Summer Unplugged – “This summer, your children 16 and under can bowl for free at your local AMF. Sound too good to be true? It’s not! Just register your children to get weekly coupons via email for two free games per child per day all summer long.”
    • Kids Bowl Free – “Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.”
  • City/County entertainment – check with your city and county, as well as neighboring cities, to see if they will be hosting any events, such as concerts, plays, outdoor movies, kids’ entertainment (magicians, musicians, etc.), festivals, etc.
  • Crafts – many craft, sewing, and educational supply stores, such as Michael’s and Lakeshore Learning host free or discounted kids’ craft events and classes.
  • Drop-in Play Places – if the heat is getting to be too much, but your kids need to burn off some excess energy, drop-in play places may be just the place for you
  • Farmer’s Markets are a great place to shop for healthy, locally grown, foods, but they also often host concerts, arts and crafts, and other fun activities
  • Game Stores (and some toy stores) often host free or cheap game leagues/days/nights
  • Kids’ Movie Series/Festivals
    • Cinemark Movie Clubhouse – Ten weeks of movies for kids, shown weekday mornings. All 10 movies can be purchased in advance for $5.00, or can be purchased separately at the box office for $1.00 per show.  $5 Series punch cards are limited and are now available only at the theatre box office while supplies last.
    • Malco Theatres Kids Summer Film Fest – June 7th – July 27th – Kid-friendly films every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 AM. A portion of the $2 admission price will benefit local children’s hospitals.
    • Marcus Theatres Kids Rule Kids Summer Film Series – June 21st – August 11th, 2011. Kid-friendly films every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10 AM. $2/person.
    • Marquee Cinemas Kid Summer Movie Program – Marquee Cinemas presents a special selection of family films brought to you each week during the summer at no charge. Check your location for dates and selections.
    • Regal Summer Movie Express – During this 9-week festival, select Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres will offer selected G or PG rated movies for only a dollar on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00am.
    • I’m sad to say that the AMC Summer Movie Camp program has been discontinued. Sad smile
  • Libraries – in addition to summer reading programs, your library may have concerts, performances, storytimes, arts and crafts, etc.
  • Museums – though they can be crowded during the summer, museums often offer extra kid-friendly classes, activities, and displays
  • Reading programs – you can read my previous post about summer reading programs for kids
  • Storytimes – most libraries and bookstores will offer storytimes during the week
  • Woodworking programs for kids are free at Lowe’s and Home Depot

Labels: Freebies, High School, Social Studies, Summer Fun, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Time to Enroll in the Book It! Program for 2011-12

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The Book It! program from Pizza Hut rewards kids in grades K-6 with free personal pizzas for meeting reading goals each month during the “school year”. Registration is currently open for the 2011-12 school year. The homeschool enrollment page is . The deadline to register is September 1st, 2011. The site also has printables, goal setting helps, and more.

Labels: Freebies, Language Arts, Literature, Phonics and Reading
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Enrich Your Homeschool Experience for Free During National Parks Week 2011

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April 16-24, 2011 is National Parks Week, when admission to all 394 National Parks is free. Did you know that many historic sites and natural wonders are National Parks also? For instance, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Antietam National Battlefield, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Cape Cod National Seashore, Death Valley National Park, and Aztec Ruins National Monument are all National Parks and would make wonderful field trip destinations for some interesting history or science lessons. I find that one of the joys of homeschooling is having the flexibility to incorporate more field trips into my kids education.

Also, Saturday, April 23, is National Junior Ranger Day, and children can take part in many fun activities and earn junior ranger patches.

Many parks even have curriculum based education programs!

Labels: Freebies, High School, Social Studies, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Earthquake and Tsunami Unit Study and Lapbook

Fault Foldable

Gohan was already studying earthquakes in K12’s earth science course when the big earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. I had already been planning to switch to more of a unit study/lapbook approach for science anyway, so I decided to create a unit plan/lapbook for Gohan to study earthquakes and tsunami’s in more detail. I’m going to post the foldables that I created now, even though we have not finished the lapbook ourselves, just because of the timeliness of the subject. As such, there could be some inks that I have not worked out. Please let me know if you find any mistakes.

My lesson plan uses Brainpop videos. Currently, Brainpop is making their Earthquake and Tsunami videos free for everyone, in order to help kids better understand what has happened in Japan.

Fault Foldable 

Labels: Apps, Blogging Business, Freebies, Printables, Science
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff